The Gering senior Legion baseball team extended its winning streak to four games after shutting down Bridgeport 14-0 in a four-inning contest on Tuesday night at Oregon Trail Park in Gering.
The win improves the Platte Valley Companies Seniors to 21-9-1 on the season heading into Saturday’s contest with Ogallala.
“I thought we played pretty solid tonight,” Gering assistant coach Danny O’Boyle said. “Jerod (Balthazor) did a good job of throwing strikes on the mound and our defense made just enough plays behind him to keep them off the scoreboard, which is good.”
After a 30-minute delay due to lightening in the bottom of the first, Gering heated up to take a 4-0 lead after the frame.
Bridgeport was able to hold off the Gering offense in the second inning behind the arm of Brandon Neiger, but the PVC bats came alive again in the bottom of the third with eight runs across to take a commanding 12-0 lead heading into the Bombers final at-bat of the night.
Two more runs by Gering in the bottom of the fourth nailed down the win for starting pitcher, Jerod Balthazor, who finished the night giving up just five hits with one walk and seven strikeouts in five innings of work.
Neiger took the loss on the hill for the Bombers giving up 13 runs on seven hits with four strikeouts in 3 1/3 innings of work. Kort Dye finished giving up one run on two hits with one strikeout in 2/3 innings of relief.
O’Boyle credits the team’s recent success on timely hitting and discipline at the plate.
“I thought for the past few games we’ve been disciplined at the plate,” he said. “Our guys have had a good approach to attacking the first pitch they see and we’ve come to realize when we do that, we’re a much better team than when we get behind in the count. It’s something typical of pretty much every team unless you have a team that can sit back and hit everything that’s thrown at them.”
Quinton Janecek and Jack Franklin had good nights at the plate each going 2-for-3 on offense. Janecek finished with a run batted in and three runs scored, while Franklin plated a pair of runs in the win. Riley Schanaman and Justin Scott each accounted for a RBI, while Anthony Walker drove in a pair of runs. Balthazor drove in one RBI with a double.
PVC finished with nine hits on the night.
Bridgeport was paced by Kolton Kriha, who finished with two hits. Dye, Josh Kruse and Ethan Eckhardt also tallied hits in the game.
O’Boyle is pleased with his team’s progress at this point in the season and hopes Gering can add a few more wins over Ogallala and Wheatland this weekend.
“We’re pretty pleased with where we’re sitting at this point of the year,” he said. “Obviously another 20-plus win season is great for our guys and great for our program, but that just shows you how hard they’ve been working. We hope to keep building and keep taking that next step in our ball game and hopefully keep elevating our play no matter who we play against.”
Bridgeport 000 00x x — 0 5 6
Gering PVC 408 2xx x — 14 9 3
WP — Jerod Balthazor, LP — Brandon Neiger
2B — Jerod Balthazor.